After a car crash, you will probably turn to insurance for assistance. Filing a claim can pay for the repairs to your vehicle, medical care for you and your passengers or even wages you can’t earn during your recovery.
Before you file some paperwork with your insurance agent, there are certain things that you should know about motor vehicle liability insurance in California.
Fault matters after a crash
The policy that you pay for protects you from liability. That means it covers the cost of damage and injuries that you caused. If someone hits your vehicle, it is their insurance policy and not yours that will pay for your losses.
The other driver may not have enough insurance
Many people can’t afford comprehensive insurance coverage, so they buy the very least they can carry under California law. California only requires $5,000 worth of property damage coverage. Repairs to even a beat-up older vehicle could cost much more than that, to say nothing of the expense involved in replacing a car that gets totaled. State law only requires $15,000 worth of bodily injury coverage if one person gets hurt or $30,000 if two or more people get hurt or die in a crash.
You don’t have to accept what the insurance company offers you
Sometimes even when a driver has great coverage, you get a bare-bones settlement offer that doesn’t even cover all of your medical expenses. A lot of people think that they have to just accept whatever the insurance company offers, but that isn’t true.
Provided that you have evidence that shows the losses you suffered and the policy covers more than you were offered, you can negotiate for additional compensation or a better settlement.
Whether you have to deal with an insurance company or take civil action against a driver who doesn’t have enough coverage, you might need the help of an experienced attorney when handling legal matters after a car crash.